37 Interesting Oceanography Facts

Interesting Oceanography Facts

Oceanography Facts

Oceanography is the study of the physical, chemical, and biological features of the ocean, including the ocean’s ancient history, its current condition, and its future.

  • A mouthful of seawater may contain millions of bacterial cells, hundreds of thousands of phytoplankton and tens of thousands of zooplankton.
  • It is believed that approximately 95% of the oceans are yet unexplored. Scientists know more about the moon and Mars then they do about the ocean.
  • The first person to study the Gulf Stream scientifically was Benjamin Franklin.
    There are hundreds of earthquakes around the world every day but most are under the water of the oceans.
  • Fish supply the greatest percentage of the world’s protein consumed by humans and most of the world’s major fisheries are being fished at levels above their maximum sustainable yield; some regions are severely overfished.
  • Some of these earthquakes cause tsunamis which are giant underwater waves. If these waves reach land they can result in massive destruction and death.
  • The water in the ocean is not drinkable because it is saltwater.
  • A slow cascade of water beneath the Denmark Strait sinks 2.2 miles, more than 3.5 times farther than Venezuela’s Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on land.
  • The sea level has risen with an average of 10-25 cm over the past 100 years and scientists expect this rate to increase. Sea levels will continue rising even if the climate has stabilized because the ocean reacts slowly to changes.
  • The Mid-Ocean Ridge is the longest mountain range in the world and is located under the ocean. It is more than 45,000 miles long and winds around the globe.
  • The world’s deepest place is the Mariana Trench at 36,201 feet deep located in the Pacific Ocean near Indonesia.
  • Canada has the longest coastline of any country, at 56,453 miles or around 15 per cent of the world’s 372,384 miles of coastlines.
  • The Arctic produces 10,000-50,000 icebergs annually.

  • The first textbook about oceanography was called the Physical Geography of the Sea. It was written by Matthew Fontaine Maury in 1855.
  • The country with the longest ocean coastline in Canada, with 56,453 miles of coastline length.
  • Air pollution is responsible for 33% of the toxic contaminants that end up in oceans and coastal waters. About 44% of the toxic contaminants come from runoff via rivers and streams.
  • the ocean produces around 70% of the oxygen we breathe, mostly from phytoplankton, a type of marine organism.
  • The highest tides in the world are at the Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. At some times of the year, the difference between high and low tide is 53 feet 6 inches, the equivalent of a three-story building.
  • There is gold suspended in seawater. Mining it from the seawater has not been possible as of yet. If it was possible it is estimated that every person on earth could have nine pounds of gold.
  • The oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water. Less than 1 per cent is freshwater, and 2-3 per cent is contained in glaciers and ice caps.
  • Later in the 1800s, Charles Darwin contributed to the expanding knowledge of oceans by writing a paper on reefs and the formation of atolls, aided by his travels in the HMS Beagle.
  • The Antarctica is melting due to global warming. This is resulting in rising sea levels. If global warming does not stop, the melting glaciers will result in flooding in cities that are on the coasts and that are not high enough above sea levels. Some of these cities include New York, London, and Mumbai.
  • The name “Pacific Ocean” comes from the Latin name Tepre Pacificum, “peaceful sea”.
  • Oceanographers believe that the ocean floors are only about 200 million years old while the continents are about 2-3 billion years old.
  • The highest ocean tide in the world is in the Bay of Fundy on Canada’s east coast. It can range as much as 53.5 feet in the spring.
Oceanography Facts
Pacific Ocean – Oceanography Facts
  • Ocean tides in Alaska can range as much as 40 feet.
  • Ocean waves can be caused by the wind, by earthquakes, and by other underwater phenomena.
  • If the ocean’s total salt content were dried, it would cover the continents to a depth of 5 feet.
  • The largest fish in the oceans, and in the world, is the whale shark which can grow longer than 40 feet.
  • The smallest fish in the world is the dwarf goby which is only 0.3 inches long.
  • The deepest known area of the Earth’s oceans is known as the Mariana Trench. It’s deepest point measures 11km.
  • The Great Barrier Reef, a coral reef system made up of more than 2,900 individual reefs, is the world’s largest living structure. At a little more than 1,400 miles, it’s both longer than any other coral reef system or living structure on the planet.
  • Dissolved gold can be found in the water of all oceans, according to NOAA’s National Ocean Service.
  • Undersea earthquakes and other disturbances cause tsunamis, or great waves. The largest recorded tsunami measured 210 feet above sea level when it reached Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in 1737.
  • The oceans’ coral reefs are ranked second in terms of biodiversity of species. The world’s rainforests rank first.
  • The Gulf Stream, a warm Atlantic ocean current that travels up the east coast of North America and across the Atlantic Ocean, was first identified by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.
  • 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans.
  • The speed of sound in water is 1,435 m/sec – nearly five times faster than the speed of sound in air.
Interesting Oceanography Facts
Interesting Oceanography Facts